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While all websites are designed with linkages to the Alberta curriculum, the Foundation has also pioneered in the area of customized educational resources for teachers and students. This has been done to ensure that heritage content is embedded in curriculum. This will ensure its relevance to future generations and that museum and archival resources are valued and used by all.
The Heritage Community Foundation’s websites are virtual textbooks with text, images, audio, video as well as searchable database elements were appropriate (e.g., patents database). Having developed a wealth of online content with excellent fit to the Alberta Program of Studies and at the request of teachers and academics, the Heritage Community Foundation has moved to address the need for online and CD-ROM-based educational materials. The Foundation is a leader in the development of multimedia learning resources that draw on the collections of museums, archives and other heritage organizations. The Foundation has developed 12 Edukits, digital learning resource tools that contain both a Teacher Zone and Student Zone section. Edukit development represents the Foundation’s objective to develop “multimedia learning resources that directly relate to the Alberta programs of study.”
The Teacher Zone incorporates lesson plans with various multimedia components and aims to increase student skills in search and retrieval. Each individual lesson plan includes a Teacher’s Information section that provides historical background and facts relating to the corresponding lesson. All lessons provide student worksheets and rubrics that the teacher can download and reproduce from the Student Worksheet section.
The Student Zone section is designed to allow students a continuing learning connection to the lessons presented in the classroom. This section includes four core subsections: a Glossary, Tid Bits to Know, Picture Gallery, and a Puzzles and Games Section. It should be noted that some Student Zone sections may include additional subsections depending on materials presented in the corresponding lesson plans. For example, not all lesson plans will involve a corresponding “profiles” section; while others may need a “profiles” section to supplement the lesson. The Tid Bits to Know section introduces students to interesting and perhaps unknown facts and may include statistical data and other information.
Funding support from the Canada-TELUS New Media Learning Fund was used to develop the first generation of 12 edukits completed in 2004 as follows: Women of Aspenland, Alberta Naturally, The Famous 5, The CKUA Classroom, Alex Decoteau, Alberta’s Petroleum Heritage and Edmonton, My Community. Funding support from the Community Mobilization Program of Canadian Justice enabled the creation of the Aboriginal Youth Identity Edukits Series that included the following Edukits: Origin and Settlement, Culture and its Meaning, Language and Culture, First Nations Contributions and Spirituality and Creation.
Work is ongoing on the Heritage Diversity Edukit Series, Phases 1 and 2, funded by Canadian Heritage, Secretary of State for Multiculturalism and Status of Women and the Human Rights Commission, Alberta Community Development. Completed Edukits include:
Preliminary research and community consultations have begun for the following:
To showcase the Edukits, the Foundation has created the dedicated gateway site www.Edukits.ca.